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Pharma and Healthcare

Patient Experience in the COVID-19 World

By Akhila Sriram on May 15, 2020

New Meaning of Patient Experience for the COVID-19 World

We present to you, two very different hospital patient scenarios:

  1. A 32-year woman arrives at the hospital, dilated and ready to give birth to her second child, the same hospital where she delivered her first baby. She suffers from Gestational diabetes as well as high blood pressure. Before coming to the hospital, she received coaching and guidance from her healthcare team to prepare for the birthing process. Due to her risk factors, she will need close observation and coaching during her delivery to avoid possible complications.
  2. An 85-year old man arrives at the same hospital, suffering from late-stage prostate cancer. His wife died the year before and now he lives alone. He has no close relatives or friends nearby. He’s lonely and just wants someone, his nurse or perhaps a social worker, to sit with him and talk for a while.

Medical professionals agree: the needs, expectations, and methods to best engage these two patients are vastly different. To ensure the best health outcomes and patient satisfaction in both cases, they will each need personalized considerations for care.

How do we understand patient experiences and needs today?

Currently in the US, notions of “patient experience” and “patient satisfaction” are routinely assessed by hospitals via a standardized survey mandated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) known as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

HCAHPS has been considered the industry gold standard for collecting and publicly reporting information which allows consumers to compare hospitals. But are these surveys really assessing and addressing the needs of patients as diverse as our two example patients? Is HCAHPS really a true measure of patient centricity? No. This overly general one-size-fits-all process does not even come close to helping us understand the individual care required for patients who have vastly different needs and expectations.

The HCAHPS consists of 27 items that consider all aspects of the hospital experience, from communication and responsiveness, to cleanliness and pain management. These standardized HCAHPS surveys are supposed to capture the patients perspective about their hospital stay. Instead, it only has five items that directly ask about the patient:

  • In general, how would you rate your overall health?
  • What is the highest grade or level of school that you have completed?
  • Are you of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino origin or descent?
  • What is your race? Please choose one or more.
  • What language do you mainly speak at home?

Nowhere does the survey ask the patient questions that could determine what matters most to them. Thus, to truly understand patient centricity in this pandemic-inflicted world, we must understand what really matters to patients.

How Can We Help You Understand Your Patients?

Understanding patient experience requires an individualized approach, and is best driven by companies like OSG, who have become experts in the fields of patient experience and physician engagement. We deploy technology that uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to obtain information at the individual level about the deeper drivers and motivations of patients. Our behavioral analytics methodology examines the “what” and “how” of patient experience data to inform the “why” of patient behavior and motivations.

Improving care requires understanding what matters to patients. Patient experience starts with understanding patient expectations. And nothing makes those expectations more defined than a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a greater sense of urgency for hospitals to leverage data analytics and behavioral sciences to personalize patient care and deliver true patient centricity. This way, they’re delivering great care during stressful times and maintaining strong relationships with their patients.

To learn more about how OSG Analytics can help your organization harness patient experience feedback , contact us through the link below!